PSL's return-to-play protocol explained


SAFA chief medical officer Dr Thulani Ngwenya has assured that the PSL return-to-play protocols are watertight as he explained the process that will now follow.

The PSL was earlier this week issued clearance to proceed with their plans to return to training and competition in a biologically safe environment (BSE), as they look to complete the 2019/20 season.

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This was as a result of extensive planning and discussions from several health and safety practitioners within the SAFA Joint Liaison Committee task team, which included Dr Ngwenya.

With some players expressing concerns, more details have now been shared around the document approved by government, with further assurance issued that players will be well taken care of and protected against the risk of infection.

"We have said to government, we're going to test first, the training fields are going to be sanitised and people are going to be screened on a daily basis – that is just for training," Dr Ngwenya explained to the SA Football Journalists' Association.

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"But, over and above that, before they come to the BSE, they are going to be tested again for a second time and then go into a mini-camp wherever they are [based].

"Now, when they are cleared for a second time, they are then going to travel – for which there is also a protocol that we have to adhere to, which speaks about the number of people allowed in a transport, because we still have to have social distancing.

"Then, in terms of the BSE, when you identify this, it must be a place where it is not a hotspot or an epicentre, so we'll be going to an even safer place.

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"For instance, one of the other things that can perhaps be looked at is the issue that different regions in the country have different weather conditions, where, for instance, Polokwane is warmer than Johannesburg, but it doesn't take priority over the issue of capacity.

"The first thing is that the area must not be an epicentre; the second is that it must have capacity in terms of training fields, accommodation and of course the match venues.

"The third issue is that, if possible, that area must be an area that has slightly warmer weather than the other areas in the whole country, but that is not priority, it just becomes a bonus if possible."

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